The Derry Poor Law Union was officially declared in 1839. The Workhouse was opened in 1840 at a cost of £7,937. It was built to house a maximum capacity of 800 inmates. The Derry Workhouse was built to accomodate people from the areas of Ardmore, Ballymullins, Banagher, Birdstown, Bond's Glen, Burt, Castle Forward, Claudy, Farhan, Glendermot, Inch Island, Kilderry, Killea, Loughe Enagh, Lower Liberities, Muff, Newtown Cunningham, Upper Liberties, Tamnaheim, Three Trees, and Waterside in the counties of Derry and Donegal.
The Derry Workhouse site was later repurposed as the Waterside Hospital. The site was later redeveloped again, this time as housing.
During the most recent redevelopment, some of the original buildings were saved and are now in use as a museum and library.
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